New PDF release: A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China

By J. C. Cleary

ISBN-10: 0895819015

ISBN-13: 9780895819017

This e-book makes a speciality of the lessons of 13th-century chinese language Zen grasp Shiqui Xinyue. The koans, tales, and poems of the Zen grasp followed by means of explanatory notes from the editor include the majority of the textual content, that is preceded via an inadequately short ancient review of chinese language Buddhism. these looking extra complete details could be prompt towards Arthur F. Wright's Buddhism in chinese language historical past (Stanford Univ. Pr., 1971). additionally, the editor doesn't identify the categorical resource rfile for his translation, easily calling it a "collection of Zen teachings." besides the fact that, the 141 anecdotal teachings are in transparent, concise English and the explanatory notes aid with the paradoxical statements and allusions.

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Example text

The old adepts of the various regions are all masters of the family style: they stand independently and walk alone, transmitting the Dharma of their family. W hen the great adepts-to-be met their teachers, the mind-tracks were obvious, like parallel lines that could be picked out. If lofty gentle­ men go travelling [to 'study Z en’J without taking the ancient sages as their model and without undertaking real in-person study, then they are said to be "blind men without the eye of wisdom" who "follow the waves and abandon the source".

Only the time left over from these duties was free for specifically religious endeavors. Both Zen and Pure Land teachers addressed this issue, by pointing out ways to cultivate Buddhist practices in the midst of mundane life. The social restraints on religious freedom bore most heavily on women, as part of the general subordination of women to men in Old China. Women were not free to mingle with unrelated men, even for religious purposes. The classic complaint against the heterodox popular religions in China was that they allowed women and men to gather together without enforcing the proper distinctions.

We should heed their warnings. Sectarian biases, blind adherence to inherited routines, dogmatism, putting on airs of wisdom and mystery, power trips and mind games: these are clear signals that the "Zen followers” in question are rank pretenders. 24 A Tune Beyond the Clouds III. A Map of Zen Mind According to the traditional formula, Zen points directly to the human mind, without establishing any verbal formulations as sacred, in order to enable people to see their real identity and become enlightened.

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A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China by J. C. Cleary


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